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Downtown Library 2012: First Community Forum Update

Mon, 06/11/2012 - 4:15pm by josie

The first community forum to discuss the future of the Downtown Library was held Saturday, June 9 in the Multipurpose Room of the Downtown Library. We appreciate those who have chosen to spend time talking with us about 21st century library service at these events.

I am including the agenda and the content of our information boards, along with this video of the discussion in this message.

For those of you unable to attend, please don't hesitate to send your comments, questions or concerns to or comment on this post.


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AADL Public Engagement Process Community Forum Agenda

1. Welcome
2. Process Overview
3. Introduction
4. Information Stations
- Children
- Finances
- Quiet Reading Room
- Research/Archives
- Meeting & Gathering Spaces
- Infrastructure Tour

Current Challenges & Potential Opportunities
- Easel w/ Paper & marker for comments
- Suggestion cards

5. Question & Answer
6. Close

Opportunities for engagement: 3 Community Forums
June 9th, 10 am – 12 pm
June 12th, 7 pm – 9 pm
June 20th, 7 pm – 9 pm

Contact AADL:

All questions and answers will be posted on the Director’s blog.

Board Meetings: Board Room on the 4th floor of the Downtown Library:
June 18th, 7 pm
July 16th, 7 pm

AADL Community Forum: Information Stations


- Limited opportunities for interactive learning in current space
- Current story corner can accommodate events or play but not both
- Size and capabilities of current space limit ability to meet needs of different ages

- A room designed around flexible, upgradable interactive exhibits and play surfaces
- Dedicated capacity for simultaneous play, events, and tours
- A set of planned zones that support the varying developmental needs of kids from birth on


- AADL is a taxing authority independent of the City of Ann Arbor or AAPS
- Operating on 1.55 mills (81% of the voter-approved 1.92 mills) since July 2009
- Property taxes account for over 90% of income
- Three branch libraries opened on time & on budget, using $24 million from the operating millage

- A $65 million dollar bond will provide funds to improve the Downtown Library, allowing AADL to continue to function within the existing operating millage.

Property Market Value Property Taxable Value Library Bond Millage Per Year
$150,000 $75,000 $52
$200,000 $100,000 $69
$250,000 $125,000 $86
$300,000 $150,000 $104
$350,000 $175,000 $121
$400,000 $200,000 $138


- Ann Arbor News Archives currently housed in rented space
- Limited to no access for downtown patrons, researchers, or staff
- Difficulty integrating archives content into ongoing projects

- Provide a downtown space to appropriately house & display the Archives collections
- Enable public access to the archives, possibly in conjunction with a new reading room
- Develop research stations that allow safe use of delicate collections

Quiet Reading Room

- No room for dedicated, quiet work & reading space in current structure
- Poor lighting, bad acoustics, insufficient access to power and data
- New Branch reading rooms are comfortable, useful, and welcoming; need a similar destination downtown

- Create a comfortable, quiet reading room with ample seating, working / reading space and a welcoming atmosphere
- Provide good, energy-efficient lighting & natural daylight
- Provide ample access to power and data

Meeting & Gathering Spaces

- Insufficient individual & group study/meeting rooms to meet demand
- Library events are limited by availability & capacity of downtown rooms
- Event attendees frequently have to tolerate cramped, uncomfortable rooms with poor sightlines

- Develop a diverse set of meeting and study rooms with ample electrical, data, and equipment access
- Provide event venues capable of supporting a broad range of library & public event needs
- Establish facility within the downtown library that can comfortably handle large turnouts


- Three building phases (1957, 1974, 1991) do not work together efficiently, with terribly inefficient & expensive heating and cooling systems that require expensive service and maintenance
- Only 1 ADA accessible restroom in the building; No public restrooms or drinking fountain on the 3rd floor Challenges in safety & supervision of space
- All three building phases pre-date the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

- Utilize advances in green building technology to deliver a sustainable, high-capacity downtown library
- Ensure convenient, accessible restroom facilities throughout the building
- Develop spaces with ceiling heights and column spacing that allow intuitive way finding & supervision


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